Recent News Articles from around the web

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.: $20 million tab to defeat privacy bill Among priciest lobbying efforts in state history - 8th Sep 2002

"Sacramento -- Banks, insurance companies and other corporations spent more than $20 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenses during the successful fight against a measure to protect the financial privacy of consumers, state records show.

Among the biggest spenders were Citigroup, which tallied $878,875 in expenses, the American Insurance Association, $310,662, and the giant credit card company, MBNA Corp., $500,871..."
[SF Gate]

.: Terror laws 'eat away at privacy' - 7th Sep 2002

"The UK is one of the worse places in the world for privacy with the internet playing a huge part in the erosion of rights, a report has found. A 400-page study compiled by Privacy International and the US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center paints a grim picture of the state of privacy in a post-11 September world.

"The internet is being turned into a surveillance device and eventually surveillance will be a core design component of computers," warned Simon Davies, head of Privacy International..."

.: Britain 'leads way' in eroding privacy - 6th Sep 2002

"Individual privacy is being eroded in Britain to a far greater extent than in other developed countries, according to an international study of state surveillance in the year since September 11.

Many states have rushed through restrictive anti-terrorism and security laws in response to last year’s terrorist attacks, but the Blair Government is singled out for an anti-privacy “pathology” that the report claims is leading to mass surveillance of the population..."
[The Times]

.: Setting the rules for spam and Net privacy - 6th Sep 2002

"ASPEN, Colo.--Orson Swindle is an unusual breed of Washingtonian: a politician who doesn't trust other politicians much at all. Swindle, 65, is one of five commissioners at the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC's responsibilities involve policing the Internet for fraud and privacy violations; the agency recently compelled Microsoft to make changes to its Passport authentication system.

Swindle believes the private sector typically is better at resolving online problems than are government bureaucrats. It's not a new argument: When the FTC voted 3-2 in May 2000 to ask Congress for more power to regulate Web sites, Swindle was one of the two dissenters..."

.: An open letter to the U.S. privacy officer - 6th Sep 2002

"Over the summer, the Bush Administration revealed plans to appoint the first-ever U.S. chief privacy officer as part of the proposed Department of Homeland Security. This is significant because our government has generally resisted appointing a privacy officer.

I am happy you're going to be on the job. The appointment of a national chief privacy officer makes public sense. But we need a system of checks and balances to ensure that issues of confidentiality, data collection and the secure handling of personal information always weigh heavily in the office's decision-making. Several elements will need to go into the creation of any effective policy..."

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